In Tips
Rochelle’s Special Education Tips

Try to Remember the Kind of September (or October, November, December . . . .)

It is the end of the school year. Everyone is tired. But the IEP and 504 meetings keep rolling along. Some common errors are being made and we need to remember to cover all of our bases in the IEP development and implementation. For instance:

Are you addressing emergency evacuation procedures (hidden on page 1 of the IEP; left hand side of the page)?
If you are starting a reading intervention, are you considering doing it during ESY if the student qualifies for ESY services? If so, are you going to do it with fidelity during the ESY period?
If a child is not making progress with a reading intervention, are you looking to see why? Are you implementing it with fidelity? Are there too many children in the reading intervention group for the intervention to work for each one? Hopefully, you are not moving ahead just because the majority of the group is ready to move ahead.
Are you explaining to the parents the difference in instructional and independent reading levels? Parents tend to get pretty upset when they later learn that what they thought was the child’s ability to read independently was really the ability to comprehend material read to the child on the child’s instructional level.
If a child has problems with school attendance, getting to class on time, or other behaviors that interfere with the child’s instruction, have you conducted a Functional Behavioral Assessment and prepared a Behavior Intervention Plan?
Are you keeping notes from the 504 meetings? And do your notes from IEP and 504 meetings tell the reader who was not at the meeting what actually occurred?
Are you saying “no” to requests for accommodations when the student does not really need the accommodation to receive a FAPE?
Are you keeping careful notes on parental requests to postpone IEP team and 504 meetings?
Are you remembering that nowadays people illegally tape conversations? An illegally taped conversation is one that is taped without your knowledge. Always assume there is a tape being made of all conversations, including conversations held during breaks in meetings.
If the parent of a child without an IEP asks for an IEP team meeting and then asks for testing, please test (unless you have conducted testing within the last year).
Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire

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